PROFESSION OCH EXISTENS : En hermeneutisk studie av asymmetri och ömsesidighet i sjuksköterskors möten med svårt sjuka patienter
Sammanfattning: Profession and Existence. A Hermeneutical Study of Asymmetry and Reciprocity in Nurses Encounters with Severely Ill PatientsThe purpose of this study is to investigate how nurses constitute themselves in encounters with severely ill suffering patients. The self is understood in existential meaning and it is described and analysed in the context of suffering by means of four research questions: How is the professional self constituted in 1) nurses concepts of being professional 2) nurses concepts of the other, the patient 3) nurses concepts of friendship and love in professional encounters 4) nurses concepts of the body? 14 registered nurses have been interviewed and the texts have been interpreted within a hermeneutic and existential framework, mainly influenced by Paul Ricoeur. When it comes to nurses’ concepts of being professional, the study indicates that there is a tension between the professional, the personal and the private fields of their lives. With the second research question the attention is focused on nurses’ images of patients. The interpretations here evolve in the tension found between nurses’ common concepts of professionalism and of being a patient, and their narrations of actual encounters with patients. The main themes when it comes to love, friendship and profession are proximity and distance and the tension between them. The meaning of the lived body in nurses’ narratives is captured in its most concrete appearance, as a touch.The interpretations of the study are further discussed by means of three models for how nurses constitute themselves in the encounter with patients. The asymmetric relation between a nurse and a patient characterizes these models. The dissertation argues for a fourth model that emanates from the existential framework of the study and where the asymmetric character of the relation fades out and gives space for reciprocity in the professional encounter.
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